How to Fix Echo in Headphones (Windows & Mac)

how to fix echo in headphones
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If you are here, you must be aware of the misery caused by echo in the background of your sound. Whether you get complaints from your friends about your mic making a weird noise or you heard them yourself, it is ruining your precious time which was dedicated to a good audio experience. But today we’re going to break out of this misery.

In this content, you will learn about the echo in your headphones, the possible reasons which can cause it, and how you can get rid of it. Just stick by the end of the article to learn amazing tips that can enhance your audio experience. But first, we should answer this important question.

What is an Echo?

Sound waves created by the source progress in all directions and bounce off from hard surfaces back to the source and therefore, the sound is perceived multiple times if the source is also a listener. Now, this is always the case that sound bounces off from far objects and returns to you but you don’t always hear an echo.

This is because the human brain takes 1/10th of a second to detect any difference between two sounds. And because the brain does not get enough time to perceive the returning waves apart from the first wave, you don’t always hear an echo.

But if the object which bounces off sound back to you is at a distance of at least 50 meters, the sound takes more than 1/10th of a second to return and you hear a delayed tune known as the Echo.

How to fix echo in headphones?

headphones sound echoey

In order to fix echo in your headphones, you first need to discover the reason behind it and there are possible scenarios in which the hardware or the software, can be at fault and we will cover issues with both.

Check for the source

To discover the reason for echoing, you can join an audio conference and determine the problems based on these three scenarios.

  • You are not hearing any echo and your friends are hearing echo means that problem is at your end.
  • You are hearing an echo and your friends are hearing nothing, this also means that problem is at your end.
  • If everyone in the conference is hearing an echo someone else could be causing it.

Once you have shortlisted the source of echo, you should try to get rid of it by implementing the following solutions.

Hardware Issue

Reconnecting the headphones

Disconnect your headphones, try on different ones with your computer or you could test your headphones on different devices. Even if this does not fix the issue, it will give you an idea if the problem is caused by headphones or the computer’s settings are at fault.

Lower down the speaker volume

Most of the time, echo is caused by the powerful microphone of your headphones which catches unnecessary noise in the background or from the speaker of the same headphones you are wearing. This problem was seen in early models and the solution is using a unidirectional mic otherwise known as a cardioid mic, which catches sound from one direction only and they are pointed towards your mouth.

If you don’t have a unidirectional mic, you can change your microphone or you can lower your speaker’s volume so that less noise is recaptured by your microphone. And also act on the next solution.

change your microphone location

Change your microphone location

If you are using microphones that are bidirectional or omnidirectional, they must have been catching audio from different directions and if you are in a large hall or room or windows are open, location is the reason behind the echo. Unidirectional headphones also cause echo when they are pointing to an object which causes distortion, such as a fan or another speaker.

All of these issues with any type of mic can be resolved by choosing a viable location to place the microphone. It can be a corner of the room or a quiet place with padded walls.

Mute Your Microphone when you’re not talking

If you are facing noise distortion because you are in a room full of people and you cannot do much about it, well you can mute your mic and only open it when you have to say something. There are shortcut keys to help you quickly mute and unmute.

Change the Audio Input Device or Default Mic

Most headphones have no built-in microphone and they use the device’s mic which does not catch your sound very efficiently and also causes echo or sound distortion due to the CPU’s fan or ceiling fan. Even if your headphones have a mic, the computer could be using its built-in mic due to some settings.

You can either buy an external mic if your headphones are missing one or if they have a mic, you can shift your computer’s default audio input source by following these simple steps.

  • Go to “Sound Settings” by right-clicking the speaker icon on the right side of your taskbar or by searching for “Sound Settings” in the start menu.
  • Under the “Input” header, you can change the input device and test its intensity. You can try different microphones on a test call to be sure.
  • Choose the device which is most suitable and you are good to go.

Software Issue

If you have checked the possible problems with hardware that could be causing echo and nothing is resolved, well it’s time to try to change some audio settings and see if things are normal.

Fix echo in headphones windows 10

To make sure your computer does not listen back to its own audio output, you can follow these simple steps.

  • Go to “Change System Sounds” in the control panel or search for it in the start menu.

change system sounds

  • Under the ‘recording’ tab, open properties of the ‘active mic’ which is pointed out by a green tick, by double-clicking it or click the “Properties” button. A new window should pop up.

sound recording

  • Under the “Listen” tab, make sure if a dialogue, “Listen to this device” is unchecked.

microphone listen to this device

Now that your mic is fine, you can check if the speaker is causing issues due to the enhancements made by windows. You can disable them in the sound window by following these steps.

  • Under the Playback tab, you can select and open properties of the active “Speakers”. A new tab of properties must pop.

sound playback properties

  • Under the enhancements tab on the new window, you will find an option to “Disable all enhancements”. Check this box.

enhanchment

Check audio driver

  • Open Control Panel and go to Device Manager.

device manager

  • Click on “Sound, Audio and game controllers” so that the section expands.
  • Right-click the Audio Drivers here and select “Update driver”.

audio driver update

Fix echo in headphones Mac

Just like windows, mac has some enhancement features like “Ambient Noise Reduction” which adjusts the sound. They can cause latency in the audio and thus cause echoes. You can disable this feature by following these steps.

  • Open System Preference and go to “Sound”
  • Under the Input tab, see if “Use Ambient Noise Reduction” is unchecked.

Conclusion

Now that you know all the ways you can use to figure out the reason behind echo, you can discover it in no time. And if the headphones are at fault, you know where to buy new ones. But for that, you need to check their compatibility with your device.

I hope this content would have been helpful to solve your problem. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments below.

Source
https://support.bluejeans.com/s/article/Adjusting-computer-sound-settings-to-reduce-echo
https://support.goto.com/webinar/help/how-do-i-fix-audio-feedback-echo-static-during-my-session-g2w050049

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